Brown’s family released a statement that revealed the cause of death as a short illness following a fall at his home (via NME). “[A]part from his prowess behind the mixing desk,” the statement read, “he was an incredibly popular man. He had a wonderful sense of humor and bags of charm in equal measure.”
His wife of 36 years, Jacky, added: “He was the loveliest of men – kind, generous, incredibly funny. He lit up a room with his humor and always tried to help those with less than he had. He left a true legacy, both professionally and personally.”
According to Consequence of Sound, Brown earned his first major engineering credit on the Boomtown Rats’ self-titled 1977 debut. He began producing in the ’80s, including ABC’s debut single, “Tears Are Not Enough” and Wham!’s first record, Fantastic, which went to No. 1. A couple years later, the Cult brought him on board for their second LP, Love, which featured the college-rock-radio classic “She Sells Sanctuary.”
In 1992, Brown was hired to remix a pair of songs Mercury recorded for Mr. Bad Guy, “Foolin’ Around” and “Your Kind of Lover,” for 1992’s posthumous The Great Pretender compilation. That same year saw the release of the Manic Street Preachers’ debut, Generation Terrorists, which spawned five Top 40 singles in the U.K. He worked with the band again on 1994’s The Holy Bible. In 1996, he produced the Pogues’ last record, Pogue Mahone.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of legendary producer Steve Brown,” the Cult tweeted. “He was hugely influential in the Cult’s evolution and shall forever been entwined in our DNA. Our deepest condolences to Steve’s family. Our hearts are with you.”
“So very sad to hear about Steve or as we affectionately knew him … ‘Bodger Brown,'” Cult guitarist Billy Duffy added “Who knows how the Cult’s career would have turned out if we hadn’t worked with him. … I really believe he was the right man at the right time.”
Brown was also a founding member of the Drive Foundation, a Canadian organization that works to remove the stigma of addiction and depression. He and Jacky had two sons, Max and Luke.